Vishakha Upadhyay of Rustomjee International School (Dahisar) won gold medals in the long jump and the 200m events at the Mumbai Schools Sports Association’s (MSSA) U-14 inter-school athletic championships at Goregaon Sports Club yesterday.
The 13-year-old’s leap of 4.93 metre set a new meet record, erasing St Gregorios’ (Chembur) Namrata Devadiga’s mark of 4.70 metre set in 2009. Vishakha clinched gold ahead of Anushree Nair (4.68 metre) and Aradhana Dubey (4.51 metre). Barely 15 minutes after winning the gold in long jump, the Class VIII student went on to win a gold in the 200m run with a timing of 27.8 seconds. Scarlet Raphael (28.1 secs) came second while Tanvi Patil’s timing of 28.3 secs got her the bronze medal.
Not my best
Despite making a new meet record, the Kandivli resident was not content with her performance. “My personal best in long jump is 5.13 metre at the recently-concluded State sub-junior selection trials held at Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) Kandivli campus.
“Today, I couldn’t give my best. I am confident that I will work hard and break my own record someday,” said Vishakha, who idolises 2003 World Championships bronze medallist Anju Bobby George.
She added, “As a five-year-old I performed well during the school athletics meet. That’s when the school coaches advised my parents to give me training in athletics. My performance improved drastically after I started training under Ravi (Bagdi) sir from April this year. Earlier, in the long jump, I would leap around 4.67 or 4.7 metre.”
Coach Ravi Bagdi said that Vishakha has the potential to go a long way. “She has made me proud today. She is a natural talent, I just had to guide her. I am confident that she can represent the country someday,” said Bagdi.